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Bilobalide: The Brain Protector Found in Effective Ginkgo Biloba Supplements

Ginkgo is a proven longevity supplement

As we age, mitochondria (the energy-producing structures in cells) become less efficient at producing vital energy and more efficient at generating damaging free radicals. This vicious cycle is now believed to be a major contributor to the aging process and memory loss.

Recent research has shown that Ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) is remarkably effective at protecting mitochondria from damage from a variety of insults, and helps to prevent mitochondrial aging on a genetic level. This unique and amazing ability to counteract a major contributor to aging has generated extensive scientific interest, as few antioxidants have this impressive ability to protect mitochondrial function. Even more impressive, GBE has been shown to not only preserve mitochondria structure and function in aging animals, but to also significantly extend their lifespan! Other breakthrough studies have shown that bilobalide, a unique Ginkgo terpene, is one of the important substances in ginkgo that protects mitochondria.

Make sure your Ginkgo has a high bilobalide content!

Bilobalide also induces important brain growth factors and prevents cell death from amyloid protein, a culprit in Alzheimer’s disease. Interestingly, the other compounds in Ginkgo seem to enhance bilobalide’s effectiveness. Enhanced brain function, protection against Alzheimer’s disease, and even prolonged life are some of the possible benefits that scientists believe bilobalide can provide us with. Most Ginkgo supplements don’t even meet the minumum 2% level of bilobalide required of pharmaceutical grade Ginkgo biloba extract.

Imagine the possibilities, then, of finding a Ginkgo biloba extract product that contains 5% bilobalide—more than any other product on the market. We have … and we’ll tell you how you can protect your brain, your overall health and your longevity with this brand new, incredible enhanced-potency Ginkgo supplement!

The compounds that enhance bilobalide’s effectiveness

  • The flavonoids in Ginkgo are powerful antioxidants, and are metabolized in the body to flavonoid compounds that are also antioxidants, making it an extra-strength antioxidant!1
  • Terpenes are the phytochemicals that make Ginkgo unique in the entire plant kingdom. These particular terpenes include ginkgolide and bilobalide. Ginkgolide B is what first made Ginkgo a real scientific curiosity because this ginkgolide is a potent inhibitor of Platelet Activating Factor (PAF). PAF is involved in many reactions in the body, most notably promoting blood clotting—which means GBE helps protect against blood clots. Subsequent research found that GBE is very effective in treating circulation disorders.2

Safe and effective

Ginkgo has been examined in more than 50 double-blind clinical trials, and hundreds of other pharmacological studies. Its impressive results have made it the most popular herbal medicine in the world. Although Ginkgo is marketed as a dietary supplement in the United States, physicians in France, Germany and other countries use it as a pharmaceutical to treat several diseases.3

As a whole, the studies show that Ginkgo’s unique and impressive properties come from its synergistic combination of antioxidant and protective compounds, combined with the extracts’ amazing ability to induce our cells’ own natural antioxidant and protective factors. This makes Ginkgo truly unique, as it not only provides us with a source of healthful flavonoids and terpenes that possess a variety of beneficial properties, but also actually stimulates our body’s natural protective mechanisms on a genetic level.4There is no other product that has so many beneficial and far reaching effects on our body’s health, on so many different levels.

What will Ginkgo do for me?

Ginkgo biloba extract has been proven to stimulate blood circulation. Consequently, it has the ability to help:

  • Sharpen your mental performance
  • Increase your concentration and short-term memory
  • Boost your energy levels
  • Improve circulation to your feet, legs and hands
  • Enhance your sex life as a result of increased blood circulation
  • Slow down the aging process

Brand new scientific studies have proven Ginkgo to:

  • Protect against cataracts and macular degeneration, and retard their progression5
  • Reduce blood pressure increases due to stress and exercise6
  • Enhance memory in healthy individuals and in those with dementia789
  • Protect against stroke10

Ginkgo is especially beneficial to the health of the elderly

Scientists believe that aging and many diseases, including arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and atherosclerosis, are the result of oxidative stress and the accumulation of free radicals. Ginkgo’s antioxidant properties neutralize the free radicals that can damage proteins within the cell, enzymes, or the fragile lipid membranes that surround and protect the cell.

Brain cells are composed mainly of fat, which is particularly vulnerable to free radical damage. Individuals who sustain free radical damage over a long period of time may experience deterioration in their mental capacity. Numerous studies prove that Ginkgo protects the delicate brain cells from this devastating damage.

Effective against Alzheimer’s disease

The first empirical clinical trial of Ginkgo biloba extract conducted in the United States, and reported in the October 22, 1997 Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), showed that GBE was beneficial in delaying the progression of dementia in patients for six months to one year. The double-blind clinical trial involved 327 patients with dementia caused by Alzheimer’s or stroke, in which the patients were randomly assigned to take either Ginkgo supplements or a look-alike placebo every day for one year.

The study assessed the effects of Ginkgo on age-related mental decline, the kind many Americans experience as we age. The results were astounding.

According to Pierre L. LeBars, M.D., Ph.D. and his colleagues from the New York Institute for Medical Research, Tarrytown, N.Y., after six months the group that took the placebo did worse in all areas, which would be expected due to the progressive nature of Alzheimer’s. Almost one third of the Alzheimer’s patients who took daily GBE supplementation showed improvement in their social behavior and on standard tests of reasoning and memory. That means GBE can help extend your healthy mental lifespan!11

Since that early study, dozens of studies have added to LeBars’ findings. An in-vitro study done at McGill University, Quebec, and recently published in September 2002 found that GBE extract is effective in preventing cellular death from beta-amyloid deposits found in Alzheimer’s disease. Since a build-up of amyloid plaques contribute to a loss of normal brain function—and ultimately a loss of memory—this is a significant finding.12

GBE improves intelligence in healthy, young people

You don’t have to be middle-aged or older for Ginkgo to help increase brainpower! Recently, there has been much speculation that GBE may act as a ‘smart drug,’ improving intelligence in healthy, young people.

In a 30-day double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 61 participants were given a battery of validated neuropsychological tests before and after treatment with GBE. Results indicated that due to the Ginkgo, the subjects showed a significant improvement in the speed at which they processed information and retained it.13

In another placebo-controlled, double-blind study, 20 participants received 120 mg, 240 mg and 360 mg of a standardized extract of Ginkgo or a placebo. The results showed that the people who received Ginkgo biloba had a sustained improvement in attention, even six hours after they had received the supplement.14

Choosing the right Ginkgo biloba extract product

There are hundreds of Ginkgo products on the market, and most of them aren’t worth the price of the bottle they come in simply because they don’t meet the pharmaceutical standards of the supplements that are used in clinical studies … and many contain potentially dangerous levels of ginkgolic acid. Unlike other countries that sell ginkgo extracts as pharmaceuticals, the United States’ sales of Ginkgo are unregulated and provide the consumer with no guarantee of quality or potency.

Safety first

Most people aren’t aware that Ginkgo leaves contain a toxic compound called ginkgolic acid. Pharmaceutical-grade Ginkgo extract must contain less than 5 parts per million of ginkgolic acid. But in the US, you can’t be sure how much ginkgolic acid is in your product unless it is specifically stated on the label … and most manufacturers don’t list it on the label. Even worse, many products contain hundreds of times the acceptable limit of toxic ginkgolic acid, and the consumer has no way of knowing.

You cannot expect to get the amazing results that Ginkgo biloba extract has been scientifically proven to provide by taking inferior quality products, but unfortunately most products being sold are just that. Imagine the possibilities a truly superior Ginkgo biloba product can offer.

References

  1. Z’Brun A. “Ginkgo–myth and reality” (article in German) Schweiz Rundsch Med Prax 1995 Jan 3;84(1):1-6
  2. Ibid.
  3. Zimmermann M, Colciaghi F, Cattabeni F, Di Luca M. Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand) 2002 Sep;48(6):613-23.
  4. Christen Y, Olano-Martin E, Packer L. “Egb 761 in the postgenomic era: new tools from molecular biology for the study of complex products such as Ginkgo biloba extract.” Cell
  5. Thiagarajan G, Chandani S, Harinarayana Rao S, Samuni AM, Chandrasekaran K, Balasubramanian D. “Molecular and cellular assessment of ginkgo biloba extract as a possible ophthalmic drug.”Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand) 2002 Sep;48(6):593-9;Fies P, Dienel A. “Ginkgo extract in impaired vision–treatment with special extract EGb 761 of impaired vision due to dry senile macular degeneration.” Wien Med Wochenschr 2002;152(15-16):423-6
  6. Jezova D, Duncko R, Lassanova M, Kriska M, Moncek F. “Reduction of rise in blood pressure and cortisol release during stress by Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761) in healthy volunteers.” J Physiol Pharmacol 2002 Sep;53(3):337-48.
  7. Luo Y. “Ginkgo biloba neuroprotection: Therapeutic implications in Alzheimer’s disease.” J Alzheimers Dis 2001 Aug;3(4):401-407.
  8. Stough C, Clarke J, Lloyd J, Nathan PJ. “Neuropsychological changes after 30-day Ginkgo biloba administration in healthy participants.” Int J Neuropsychopharmacol 2001 Jun;4(2):131-4.
  9. Kennedy DO, Scholey AB, Wesnes KA. “The dose-dependent cognitive effects of acute administration of Ginkgo biloba to healthy young volunteers.” Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2000 Sep;151(4):416-23.
  10. Lamant V, Mauco G, Braquet P, et al. “Inhibition of the metabolism of platelet activating factor (PAF-acether) by three specific antagonists from Ginkgo biloba.” Biochem Pharmacol1987;36:2749-52.
  11. LeBars PJ, et al. Journal of the American Medical Association1997 Oct, 22/27 (16):1327-34.
  12. Bastianetto S, Quirion R. EGb 761 is a neuroprotective agent against beta-amyloid toxicity. Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand) 2002 Sep;48(6):693-7.
  13. Stough C, Clarke J, Lloyd J, Nathan PJ. “Neuropsychological changes after 30-day Ginkgo biloba administration in healthy participants.” Int J Neuropsychopharmacol 2001 Jun;4(2):131-4.
  14. Kennedy DO, Scholey AB, Wesnes KA. “The dose-dependent cognitive effects of acute administration of Ginkgo biloba to healthy young volunteers.” Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2000 Sep;151(4):416-23

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